How to Travel Wisely

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People in my age range have a yearning to travel. They could go to China, Egypt or England. Some peers of mine have moved abroad and live in Israel and Kenya.

Maybe this is because I am a thoughtful person, but jumping on the bandwagon seems like something that I can’t bring myself to do. The saying “Look before you leap” is something that describes me in this situation.

That doesn’t mean that I never traveled; I have lived in Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Japan and Sweden. I have visited my older sister in Switzerland. My childhood memories often involve being on a plane.

While I admire those who have no hesitation when it comes to traveling to another country, surely there must be people who, like me, want to travel wisely. To travel wisely, one needs to think about why one is traveling to a specific country in the first place.

One reason people should travel is for the opportunity to learn about another culture, one that the traveler hasn’t been raised in. Opening up to other cultures can lead to a greater awareness of the kind of people that exist in the world. Returning home, the traveler knows more about the world and can apply that knowledge when interacting with people living in the United States. Traveling can also expose visitors to another way of talking (even in English-speaking countries) and to other ideas of how people can live their lives.

Another reason to travel is to explore one’s roots. Such travels have the potential to enrich the traveler’s knowledge of the place or places where he or she has ancestral origins. If the visitor has relatives that live abroad and the familial relationships are cordial, then traveling gives the sojourner the opportunity to learn about other family members, who sometimes bear striking resemblances to him or her.

However, connecting with relatives abroad isn’t an absolute must; there are other ways to connect with one’s roots while traveling. In the United States, having strong connections to one’s origins feels pretty important, so this type of traveling should be put on the bucket list.

Last but not least, the aspiring traveler should go abroad in order to have fun. You get to enjoy different foods, explore, in all likelihood, different ways of dress and check out how art is appreciated in various countries. My father, while visiting Russia for work, had the chance to try really good borscht. While visiting Tunisia, I learned that Tunisian women traditionally wear bracelets according to their age. I noticed that while exploring European countries, churches are, more often than not, part of the things to see. For me, appreciating other ways of celebrating art is a part of having fun. Enjoying other cultural activities, such as sports, can also work in that direction.

Traveling wisely means expanding your knowledge about the world, but also enjoying the journey. While it is true that traveling isn’t stress-free, the more practice and experience you have with making plans to travel abroad and make the most of your stay in another country, the easier this process becomes and the more rewarding the experiences become.

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